The Dallas Cowboys are weak at safety, so why wouldn’t they go after Charles Woodson? That is a question that many fans of America’s Team have posed this offseason, so we’ll discuss that possibility today.
Yes, Dallas is weak at safety, but the Cowboys have a lot of youth at the position and drafted JJ Wilcox in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Although Wilcox likely won’t start right away at free safety, he’ll definitely be a solid contributor as a rookie before developing into a solid every-down player in his second or possibly third season. In addition, Dallas doesn’t know what it has in 2012 fourth-round pick Matt Johnson, who missed his entire rookie season due to injury.
Danny McCray was re-signed this offseason and although he’s primarily a special teams ace, he has the potential to develop into a solid safety if given the time and proper coaching to do so. Will Allen is a veteran who was signed to compete this year, but that doesn’t mean anything — Brodney Pool was cut before the preseason even began last year.
So the Cowboys wouldn’t bring in Woodson to make him a full-time starter because the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Defensive Player of the Year is past his prime. Woodson in a Cowboys uniform could still be beneficial, though — he could play limited snaps, which would keep him fresh, and also mentor all the young safeties on the Cowboys’ roster. Woodson would definitely be a better veteran leader than Allen and the few plays he could provide would be more beneficial to the Cowboys as well.
Barry Church is the set-in-stone starter at strong safety in Dallas, so Woodson would likely play mostly at free safety, which he’s capable of doing although he was primarily a strong safety for the Green Bay Packers after being converted from cornerback. And while Church’s starting spot is safe, he could still learn a lot from a future Hall of Famer like Woodson. At the same time, having a playmaker like Woodson in the secondary sparingly might allow Dallas to catch some breaks late in the season, which is usually not the case.
So basically, the Cowboys have nothing to lose by bringing in Woodson and after being on the market this long, his price can’t be super high. Dallas doesn’t have a lot of cap room, but if he really wants to play, Woodson would probably rather sign with the Cowboys for a little less money than make an extra $1 million with a garbage team. Food for thought.